By EMMA-LOUISE JOHNSON
A few weeks ago one of my nearest and dearest dropped the C bomb: “I’ve got cancer.”
Before I knew it, my gorgeous girlfriend had relocated her newly established New York lifestyle back to Sydney and had begun chemotherapy. All at the ripe old age of 25.
Even though we both live in separate countries, we visit each other regularly and talk most days. During her last few visits she had mentioned having some pain in her neck and arm.
I didn’t hear much more about this until it had escalated to a point where she wasn’t sleeping properly. She took herself (on gut instinct) to have a scan. The pain she was experiencing was in fact a tumor pressing on a nerve ending. There weren’t any other symptoms.
The journey from “I have a pain in my neck” to “you have cancer”, was short and far from sweet. Before I could blink she had endured her first round of chemo and was gearing up for much more to come. Her daily routine sounded more like that of a pin cushion in a Bangkok tailor rather than of a beautiful, successful, young woman enjoying life overseas.
Working for a cancer-related organisation, I write public education articles on the subject all day long. I can rattle off statistics like; “26,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Hong Kong every year.” I can tell you that the most common form of cancer in women is breast cancer with approximately 8 people diagnosed every day.